Ilfracombe’s lifeboats rescued eight people on Sunday after being called out within minutes of each other to two separate incidents.

The first saw a group of kayakers stranded on a beach west of Foreland Point near Lynmouth, with one of their number injured and the tide racing in.

As the all-weather boat headed for this shout likely to be one of its last before the new boat arrives - a second shout came in of a man cut off by the tide at Lester Point in Combe Martin.

The all weather lifeboat headed towards Foreland while the inshore lifeboat went and found the man at Combe Martin, with no shoes and injured feet after climbing 20 feet up the cliff.

He was helped down and taken in the boat to the beach, where he was left in the hands of Ilfracombe coastguard.

Then the inshore lifeboat headed for Lynmouth to join up with the second Ilfracombe boat and the Minehead lifeboat.

It turned out the kayakers were a group of seven, separated on to two beaches about 200 metres apart and a woman in the group had injured her ankle.

"The 25 knot wind and three metre swell they were experiencing had caused them to become stranded on beaches that were quickly disappearing under the incoming tide, and they were in a dangerous situation," said Ilfracombe coxswain Andrew Bengey.

In a tricky operation with large swells and big surf, crew members went ashore to pick up first one group, then the other, racing the rising tide as the first lot of casualties and kayaks was ferried to Lynmouth.

"The all-weather lifeboat shout we had today is certainly one of the last we will be undertaking with our faithful Mersey, and I'm proud to say that she has today helped us to save seven lives," said Andrew.

"Spirit of Derbyshire has been our station all-weather lifeboat for almost a quarter of a century, and she's as reliable today as she was the day she arrived in Ilfracombe."